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Album Review: Parkway Drive - IRE (2015 LP)

If there's anything to go by with today's metalcore scene, it's safe to say that some bands have reached a plateau in regards to creativity and sound. After listening to Parkway Drive's IRE, this record is truly a cathartic approach to what has been firing them up lately. From politics to the cruel things happening around the world, IRE is a solid album that addresses feelings of anger, revealing an aggressive side to the band with a different sound influence in mind.

After reaching much success from their previous record, Atlas , the band have officially taken on influences from great rock bands like Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine, forming a solid hard rock sound. Parkway Drive have reached the point where they're just pissed off about everything. From the government turnovers in Australia, to the shootings in the US and the current wars happening on the other side of the world, the band have used these current events as inspiration for their brutally honest lyrics. After multiple listens of the record, you begin to notice the importance in context they hold, providing a cohesive flow coming through in IRE.

It's interesting to see the sound dynamics of this entire record as it's different to what Parkway Drive have shown in the past. I remember coming across "Romance is Dead" almost five years ago and it was fiery in terms of instrumentation, screaming out themes of heartache and hatred. Listening to this track lead to my discovery on what a great metalcore band sounds like, with variation on musical progression while understanding the song's purpose.

Furthermore, Parkway Drive's change in sound has them experimenting well with traditional instruments like the violin and piano in "Writings In The Wall". For a dark-toned song, there's strong detailing and refined elements that come through with the instrumentation and epic guitar precision. Winston McCall powers through the song with passion, showcasing the band's stance by not being afraid to share the hidden truths about the world. There's a lot to take in musically and lyrically from this record.

Although I wasn't a fan at first with the new sound the band approached, the songwriting off the record revealed a very intimate side to Parkway Drive which in itself was very eye-opening. There's still the heavy side retained to the band when you listen to "Crushed" with its ear-piercing introduction, making for a killer song to play live as its quite upbeat and anthemic. There's a balanced atmosphere created in the arrangement of instruments which makes it soul-crushingly good.

With IRE, there's a lot happening in the record and the one thing that has stood out the most is that Parkway Drive are still passionate individuals, making their mark with their music. Their new sound will keep fans divided but I respect them a lot for putting such thought into their lyrics, and creating compelling stories in each of their songs. An album definitely worthy of a listen!

Review Score: 8.0 out of 10

IRE is available now